Since its inception in the 1980s, I have been an avid reader of Victoria. It has truly inspired me to have a greater appreciation of the finer things in life. From wonderful photography to excellent writing, the magazine truly has made a mark on how I live. I have been able to incorporate many ideas on decorating into my home. An English chintz tea set now adorns my sunroom bookshelves. Articles on fine handmade European linens have led me to display many of the heirlooms passed to me from my Italian grandmothers. The many pages on destinations in England, France, and Italy have me reminiscing about my own travels and planning new adventures. Victoria has shown me through the years a gentler side of life, and I am very grateful.
Scarsdale, New York
I saw my first issue of Victoria magazine in line at the grocery store back in 1989. Even though I was a teenager, I was immediately enamored and begged my mother to buy it for me. She did, and I lost myself in its pages. Every now and then I would persuade her to buy issues for me, which I read over and over. I would use them as inspiration for decorating my bedroom—and découpaging boxes if I was lucky enough to get a duplicate copy. After college, I was able to purchase my own subscription. I gathered a small collection of issues but at some point packed them away.
Years later, my husband and I moved our young family to a small town. Wandering the streets of my new neighborhood on a beautiful spring day, I stumbled upon a yard sale where on offer was a copy of the very first issue of Victoria. I snatched it up and carried my treasure home. I devoured it, hungry for the beauty and grace that I remembered from its pages, and then pulled my back issues out of storage. This lead to a frenzied year of searching yard sales and online auction sites until I had every single one.
When the magazine was resurrected by a new publisher, I renewed my subscription with the inaugural issue of its revival. I have every single issue, from that first 1987 quarterly release to the current issue sitting on my nightstand. The magazine has been a reference for travel, garden design, and home decorating; its recipes have marked important milestones in our lives, and I designed my wedding veil based on an article from 1989. I have discovered entrepreneurs and products, reaching out to small businesses across the ocean and making purchases even years after I discovered them within the pages of Victoria. I am even using the magazine as inspiration for writing a business plan to become an entrepreneur myself.
Victoria is the consistent thread in the story of my growing from child to woman, to wife, to mother. The magazine is a constant reminder for me that, even in our modern world, we always have an opportunity to approach life with beauty and grace.
Palmyra, New York
Victoria has become my haven. I anxiously wait for the next copy to reach my news agent here in Australia. When my home is quiet and the chaos has settled, I put aside an hour just to lose myself in this cherished magazine that takes me to far-off lands. It gives me a wonderful array of recipes to bake and decorating ideas for my country-style home, but most of all, I can just be in my magazine. It is a little pleasure that is completely my own.
I do not remember exactly when I started reading your magazine, but I do know that I had three young children at the time. You were my total escape—my lift, my recovery, my pleasure, and ever-so-necessary peaceful nurturing of my soul—from my then completely chaotic and beautiful family life! I could do anything knowing that I went to an hour-long exercise class and had you to slowly pore over, to savor, to study, and to be inspired by.
Your photographs, articles, and seasonal celebrations always captured our deepest feelings and put us in a positive frame of mind, no matter what had gone on that day! Victoria truly raised us up to be the best ladies, wives, moms, nurses, friends, daughters, or community volunteers that we could be. I have kept every issue!
DEBORAH ANN THORNTON HASTY
By chance or, as I like to believe, destiny, I discovered the first issue of Victoria while waiting in a doctor’s office, leafing mindlessly through a stack of magazines. As a passionate collector of tea accoutrements, I was instantly drawn to the beautiful cover image: a gorgeous tea service alongside a vase of simply elegant white flowers. Opening Victoria, I found wonderful articles framed by artfully styled photographs that resonated in my heart and soul. With the turn of each page, I knew that I had found a special publication created by kindred spirits who echoed my sentiments in living surrounded by beauty.
After subscribing, I found myself eagerly awaiting the arrival of each new issue. I enjoy all of the articles but especially features celebrating the art of taking tea with antique tea services, crisp white table linens, and delectable fare. I linger on the elegant images, feeling deeply connected to the lifestyle depicted on each page.
The magazine inspired me to create my own tea retreat—an escape to enjoy a soothing cup of tea while reading Victoria. My sanctuary, decorated in a soft palette of blue and off-white with silver accents, features all of my treasures for taking tea and a large picture window for viewing my gardens. Inspiration for living a lovely, gracious lifestyle—sometimes misplaced in today’s hectic world—is found for me in the pages of my favorite magazine.
For more letters of appreciation from readers, see “For the Love of Victoria” on page 11 of the October 2018 issue.